Most home insurance plans include water damage insurance as protection against unexpected and unintentional water damage. Damage caused by the homeowners’ carelessness or failure to maintain the home in a good state of repair is not covered by the water damage insurance. Water is one of the most severe risks to your home and valuables, so knowing what your home insurance covers in the event of water damage is crucial.
Damage from some water problems, such as broken pipes, may be covered by homeowners’ insurance. On the other hand, flood damage is among the most prevalent and expensive forms of homeowner’s damage claims. As per the Insurance Information Institute, nearly one in every 50 homeowners makes water damage or freezing claims each year, accounting for 29 percent of all insurance claims. Water damage or freezing claim costs, on average, $11,098.
Below are some common causes of water damage that cause havoc in homes.
Thunderstorms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters can constantly put your home at risk of water damage. However, these natural disasters don’t strike every day.
Other natural factors, such as strong winds and heavy rain, may cause damage to your roof, allowing a significant amount of rainwater to flood your home. Even worse, extreme weather can cause flash flooding, especially if your home is in a flood-prone area.
Rainwater is designed to flow away from your property through your gutter system. Over time, however, gutters get regularly filled with leaves, branches, and other debris. As a result, rainwater will not be able to flow out of your property correctly. This leads to overflowing gutters, which then damage your ceiling, floors, and even walls.
For various reasons, the drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom floor, and bathtub clog. Hair, grease, toiletries, dirt, toys, and other foreign objects can clog drainpipes and hinder proper drainage. Blocked drains can quickly pile up and cause flooding and water damage inside your household if not dealt with immediately.
Other causes of water damage include:
- Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
- Leaking water heater
- Washing machine water supply line leak
- Condensation from AC
- Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Water damage that is usually covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy includes:
- Water damage from storms, such as heavy rain or hail.
- After a fire, water used to put out the flames, such as a sprinkler system or a fire department hose, causes water damage.
- Water damage from a roof leak.
- Unintentional leaks, such as leaking plumbing or a malfunctioning washing machine or dishwasher.
- Ice dams are ice ridges that form at the edge of a roof, preventing melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Water backed up behind a dam can pour into a home, causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, etc.
- Burst pipes
Similarly, homeowner’s insurance does not, under any circumstance, cover the following:
- Water damage as a result of neglect or lack of upkeep, such as failing to repair a plumbing problem or failing to keep the heat on during freezing conditions.
- Water damage is caused by deliberate acts such as lighting a fire in your home or shutting off the heat in the cold.
- Water damage from landslides, mudslides, or even earthquakes. You’ll need to get a separate earthquake insurance policy if you want coverage for damage caused by earthquakes.
- The cost of repairing or replacing the water damage source, such as a damaged dishwasher or washing machine.
- Water damage caused by a sump pump or related equipment failure. You might want to consider a sump & water backup coverage policy for those kinds of issues.
- Damage from Seepage or leaks through a foundation.
You can also keep water out of your property by carrying out some of the following measures:
- Connect the hoses properly
- Gutter and downspout cleaning
- Keep trees and vegetation alive
- Understand your water main
- Maintain equipment
- Immediately fixing any leaks or call water damage cleanup experts
- Water leak detecting devices should be installed
- Check your water pressure
- You should have a water damage cleanup service that you can contact for reliable services
Most conventional home insurance policies will cover water damage that occurs abruptly or accidentally from a source inside your home, such as a burst pipe. However, your standard policy will not cover you when the water comes from outside your home.
Water damage can happen to any home, even if you give your home the proper care and attention it needs. However, to avoid water damage, there are a few things you can do. First, hire a professional to inspect your home for problems such as leaking plumbing, broken faucets and pipes, burst pipes, or bad gutters. Second, have a professional install water damage prevention devices such as water leak detectors and sump pumps.